Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fahrenheit 451 Burning with Irony

According to a news article in the Courier, Diana Berm, a sophomore at Caney Creek High School, of the Conroe Independent School District, Houston was offended by the language and content of Fahreneheit 451, the classic book about book burning and banning by Ray Bradbury. While Bradbury's book has been truncated by his publisher and strong language blacked out by well-meaning teachers, it has not been outright banned as far as I can tell (however, I am open to correction).

Alton Berm, the student's father objects to this novel being used as classroom reading material and wants to have it removed from the curriculum for all students saying,
"It shouldn't be in there because it's offending people. ... If they can't find a book that uses clean words, they shouldn't have a book at all....It's just all kinds of filth."

Although he had not read Fahrenheit 451, he found excerpts that go against his religious beliefs, including being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, "dirty talk," references to the Bible and using God's name in vain.

The book has been used in the county's curriculum for at least 19 years. A committee will now review the content of the book and reconsider its use in the classroom.

What is sad to me is the non story that has been published by the Courier and the amount of time a committee will take in reexamining its county's curriculum choices. As long as a student has a way of opting for a different novel, I believe their parents do not have a right to force the removal of materials that have been chosen by educators.

Watch the story.


Anonymous said...

Fahrenheit 451 is an amazing book ironically about extreme censorship. Some people just need to get over the fact that their children are going to grow up eventually and that maybe a good book might have a few "offending" words. Those things that offend you really just make you more knowledgable.

fahrenheit451moderator said...

Ironically, the young lady the father wants to protect is not a child. I am quite sure that she has heard many of those words from classmates from elementary school on.

Anonymous said...

You are being ridiculous!By stifling the voice of classical literature you are also being offensive. Except that your offense takes direct aim at the United States Constitution, remember the thing called "Freedom of Speech and Press." If you choose to live your life in a sheltered box, you do so at your own risk. Books like the one you are trying to ban, allow the reader to question life, liberty, and the pursuit of one's own happiness. While the "Bible" is a great piece of literature for both religious and historical value, this blatent fact should not discredit the work of other pieces of literature.

Anonymous said...

That is completely ridiculous! If you don't want YOUR KID reading fahrenheit 451, whatever. But you can't stop other people just because you would prefer to live in ignorance than be knowledgeable. These people are the kind that are tearing free will apart. It makes me sick to hear these kinds of things because that's basically the future in the book that is so doomed. There's violence and smoking and drinking in the real world, and if daddy tries to keep his little girl from that she is going to be in for a big surprise come college.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with everyone here. I am in highschool and currently reading this book. This book has more than just those negative aspects. If your child is mature enough, they should be able to handle it. I'm sure your child is familiar with the language and such in the book, if not now they are going to find out someday. Wouldn't you want your child to find out now while with you so you can expalin it to them, rather than someone else ? This is just silly and stubborn.

Anonymous said...

I think that is completely ridiculous that someone wants to ban a book because it contains some 'offensive' language. I am currently studying Fahrenheit 451 in school and I think that is a fantastic novel. If somebody can't stand the idea of people getting drunk or saying a few bad words, they really need to look outside at the world as it is today. This is exactly the thing that the novel tells us against - censorship. Anyone who has read the book would understand that banning novels just leads to problems. What's he going to do now? Burn the novel?